One of my favorite all time messages by my favorite speaker Pastor Judah Smith.
I don’t like to apply the word homosexual to people.
Because I feel like it assumes that for some people at least, homosexuality is inherent, that it’s something that must be accepted about people. It gives people an out–an alternate identity–where there really isn’t one—it allows someone to label themselves and say—I’m a homosexual or I’m gay, and that’s just the way it is—I can’t be changed—God must have made me this way. When in reality, the bible teaches us that a homosexual lifestyle is a wrong response to a specific temptation. I feel a more proper way to define people who have been labeled or have self identified as homosexual, is instead to say that they are someone who experiences some level of “same-sex attraction”.
So…..What does the bible say about same-sex attraction?
A lot. Way too much to unpack in one article. But let’s take a look at one piece of scripture:
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (ESV) Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
I want you to change your thinking for a second—b/c just like not everyone who has been tempted by alcohol becomes an alcoholic—and not everyone who has been tempted by lust becomes an adulterer…
I want to challenge you to consider that not everyone who has been tempted with attraction to the same-sex—has begun to practice homosexuality—or live a homosexual lifestyle. Not everyone who has experienced homosexual orientation takes that as an indicator that they are “wired” to live a homosexual lifestyle.
If this is confusing, let me help you understand—the word orientation applies so well here—because it’s a geometric term describing which direction something is pointed.
We were wired by God to be relational—one of the physical expressions of relationship is sexuality. Everyone was wired to relate and then to mate–with someone. In Genesis—God made humans anatomically and sexually male and female–so that the expression of relationship—the expression of sexuality could produce LIFE.
God created man and woman and pointed them toward one another–He oriented man toward woman and woman toward man—to complement one another.
The female emotions are designed to complement the male emotions. i.e. Spaghetti and Waffles. The male anatomy is designed to complement the female anatomy. To make one flesh. The natural result of becoming one flesh—sexual intimacy—is to produce life .
One of the reasons homosexuality is not ok is b/c it doesn’t pass this biblical test–it doesn’t–it cannot-produce life.
I want you to think of sexual orientation like this:
Have you ever played the game Twister?
Part of the game involves a spinning wheel—that you spin to determine what color you are supposed to touch next. The pointer is a “free moving, spinning stick type thing”. The idea is to push the “thing” and it moves around and points you to your next move.
In the garden, God created Adam and pointed him toward goodness/righteousness in every area including sexuality–he pointed man to woman and woman to man for the purpose of relationship. Sin came and infected the heart mind and nature of mankind–allowing us to be pointed in the wrong direction. Then enemy knows this– and he uses his influence to bump us—knock us—point us in a direction that we weren’t designed to go in. One of these directions is same-sex attraction.
What are the things that can bump a person out of our created sexual orientation? These things don’t always—but it can happen. Sexual abuse—can mark someone’s sexuality. Exposure to pornography–to sexual images or emotions before you are ready. A lack of healthy connection with a father or mother can cause people to seek the attention of a person that fills that void—that affection they are seeking can be mistaken for sexual attraction.
Sometimes if a guy seems to have a feminine voice or a feminine manner—or a girls seems to have a manly voice or a manly swagger—people will literally begin to label them–they will begin to identify their personality with how the media depicts homosexuals, and they will literally start to believe that those things make them more male or more female.
The enemy, Satan—plays off of these wounds—he plays off of these insecurities—he plays off of these unmet needs.–And He uses them to tempt people. To Manipulate people. To try to deceive people. They’ve been bumped in their orientation—and their temptation switches gears to instead of just being tempted sexually—they’re tempted by the same-sex.
And bc so often we don’t know the word of God–People assume that because they’re attracted to–or tempted sexually by a person of the same gender that that makes them gay. And that is the LIE of the enemy—that causes so many people to decide to live a homosexual lifestyle.
But just like the temptation to alcoholism and drunkenness is not a sin and can be overcome…
Just like the temptation to commit adultery is not a sin and can be overcome—before it becomes sin…
Just like the temptation to steal is not a sin, and can be overcome before it becomes sin…
The temptation itself to desire someone of the same sex is not a sin-& it can be overcome—before it becomes sin.
How do you know? I’m struggling—someone I know is struggling—someone I love—a brother/sister, friend…..I want to take us back to the scripture:
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 —Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
We see from the scripture that Jesus delivered some of the Corinthian believers from immorality and idolatry and thievery, and drunkenness and yes, even the practice of homosexuality
He says—-such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Jesus is the answer to greed—Jesus is the answer to idolatry—Jesus is the answer to adultery—Jesus is the answer to sexual immorality—AND YES Jesus is the answer to homosexuality.
If you are dealing with same-sex attraction, know this, Jesus loves you–he has a heart of compassion for you—Allow Jesus to wash, sanctify, and justify you into His image–allow him to reorientate you toward who you really were created to be.
If you know someone dealing with same sex attraction, love them, pray for them, be patient with them, do everything you can to lovingly communicate the holy character of Jesus to them. If they will allow Him he will wash them, He will sanctify them, and He will justify them by the Spirit of God.
I love homosexuals.
But, the reality is–that if you think you can be a Christian and never come into conflict with the ways and choices of unbelieveing people or what your body desires, you’re mistaken–it’s not possible.
The word of God cannot be unloving, nor is it outdated. Furthermore, it is not vague about same sex relationships (see passage below). We must lovingly live in light of this innerant biblical truth out as followers of Jesus–or we are ignoring the Words of Jesus. himself who said “his word would not pass away”. If we choose to directly and un-repentantly disobey the bible how can we say we know or love God?
God loves homosexuals–enough to die on a cross to give them the power to overcome the temptation and orientation life experiences have thrown their way. In the same way, I believe Jesus offers me and every other heterosexual man and woman the power to overcome the temptation/orientation to misdirect our sexuality in adultery, promiscuity, pornography etc…
I love homosexuals enough to walk through the season of discipleship that overcoming any sexual sin requires. So should you, as a Christian.
I want to let the Word speak for itself:
Romans 1:18-32 (ESV)
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,[g] in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
For a while at least my blog is going to be about what it means to me to be Pentecostal, as a Christian, as a husband and father and as a minister–sometimes I will attempt to unpack the scripture–other times I will simply speak from my heart. Today is the later,
I’m a Christian. I’m Pentecostal. Passionately Pentecostal. I believe the Biblical gifts of the Spirit are available for the strengthening of the Church of today. I believe in Spirit anointed prayer, Spirit anointed preaching and Spirit anointed evangelism. I believe in the Pentecostal distinctive of speaking in tongues. I believe that Pentecost is specifically designed by God to be the fuel for the global missions movement. I believe God the Holy Spirit wants to interact with and sometimes interrupt our corporate worship services in a tangible, demonstrative, supernatural way.
I understand that not every Christian interprets the New Testament the same way as I do. I get that, and I love the body of Christ way too much to take a “my way or the highway” approach in this matter. This post is not an attempt to “convert” non-Pentecostal Christians to some “higher” or “better” brand of Christianity, it’s to address those within my own tradition, and challenge them to doctrinal fidelity and practical, biblical expressions of our beliefs and convictions in our small groups and corporate worship events. My heart is to challenge Pentecostals to be Pentecostal.
1) Regularly teach the scripture concerning the person and work of the Holy Spirit. 2) Pray for authentic, biblical Pentecostal expressions in your worship services. 3) Be ready to actively pastor and intentionally lead people toward scriptural responses to the leading of the Holy Spirit (both to correct and edify if necessary). 4) Cultivate an atmosphere of waiting on, listening to, and engaging God the Holy Spirit–in other words, give Him an opportunity to move.
5) Keep the attention on Jesus–authentic Pentecostal expression will always glorify the Son of God–it will not push aside the proclamation of the Gospel–it will, and it must, lay the ground work for the preaching of the Cross of Jesus Christ.
Let God the Holy Spirit help you do ministry. Be Creative. Be Relevant. Be Passionate. Be Pentecostal.